Reviews by Bobfoc

87

An impressive evolution of a working formula

Bobfoc | Oct. 21, 2011 | Review of Dead Space 2 (EU)

Dead Space 2 continues where the acclaimed original left off, balancing a visceral, haunting atmosphere with solid gunplay and exciting, action-packed showdowns.

Some of the more intricate plot details may require you to have played through the first game in order to be understood adequately, but the pulsating gameplay and impressive level design are welcoming to series veterans and newcomers alike.

Dead Space 2 may not be the quintessential survival horror title on the market, but it's arguably one of the most intense, ambient corridor shooters available today. Though it lacks any of the truly horrifying moments characteristic of some of its counterparts, such as Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Dead Space 2 is a more than worthy addition to the library of any fan of third-person action shooters.

89

Engaging turn-based fun that's only getting better

Bobfoc | Sept. 25, 2011 | Review of Sid Meier's Civilization® V

Civilization V was released in late 2010 to a somewhat mixed reaction, having followed its predecessor, one of the most highly acclaimed strategy games of all time, out of the door and into the hands of strategy enthusiasts all over the world. Unfortunately, the initial version of the game was blighted by several quirks, bugs and general frustrations that turned many of the series' most devout followers away from what looked, on paper, to be another very promising iteration of a winning formula.

Thankfully, though, Civilization V's developers, Firaxis Games, have been on the case, releasing several patches that have added much-needed stability and balance to the game, having also promised further improvements in the future. That's a good thing, too, because Civilization V is, at its heart, a wonderfully compelling blend of diplomacy, construction, leadership and, of course, warfare, all wrapped up in a beautifully presented package.

Veterans of the Civilization series will feel right at home with the deep intricacies that have helped make the franchise so enduring in the excess of twenty years since the release of the original game, whilst the highly accessible new interface ensures that newcomers can quickly get to grips with the basics.

All in all, even though Civilization V still isn't quite the finished article yet, it's still a mighty example of a turn-based strategy game done right. Almost as old as the industry, yet as modern as the hour, this series continues to entertain and addict history and strategy lovers alike, making for an experience reminiscent of, yet so very different from, almost anything else out there.

88

Nonsensical Romp Sacrificing Subtlety for Style

Bobfoc | Sept. 9, 2011 | Review of Just Cause 2

Just Cause 2 is, in essence, exactly what those who have been disillusioned by the grittiness and excessive seriousness displayed by so many modern open world sandbox games have been looking for.

Armed with a grappling hook and an arsenal of bombastic, super-powered firearms, you're let loose on a large island with little in the way of guidance other than to cause as much chaos as possible. And, if you're anything like the majority of gamers out there, you're unlikely to pass up the opportunity to plough rampantly through the vast, open terrain, leaving a trail of destruction in your almighty wake.

It's just a shame that the game's storyline and voice acting are both jarringly sub-par, because Just Cause 2 really is a spectacularly beautiful and dynamic package. If you've got the hardware to unleash its full power, the game will dazzle you with its jaw-dropping visuals and luscious environments. Despite being over a year old, its graphics still stand up as some of the finest on any platform, offering a tantalising insight into what might be possible in the next few years.

If you're looking for an evening of well-reasoned sophistication, you'd be barking up the wrong tree with Just Cause 2. If, however, you have an occasional craving for mindless fun on a grand scale, this is the game that will scratch your itch for many hours to come.

94

Prepare to Lose Sleep

Bobfoc | Sept. 9, 2011 | Review of Football Manager 2011

With a new iteration of the Football Manager series released every year, it would seem perfectly reasonable to assume that any incentive for purchase would decrease rapidly on a year-to-year basis. Thankfully, FM 2011 is polished and refined enough to stand on its own two feet as a worthy bearer of the franchise's considerable legacy, firmly establishing itself as one of the most compelling, addictive sports games in recent years.

What sets Football Manager apart from its counterparts in the sports simulation genre is its staggering depth and attention to detail. With thousands of players, staff members and clubs at your disposal, you truly feel as though the football world is at your fingertips, packed to bursting point with established stars, grizzled veterans and young starlets waiting to be discovered. What's even more impressive is that sense of intricate complexity doesn't come at the expense of the game's user-friendliness, which, thanks to a host of well-written and informative tutorials, ensure that any new player can jump straight into the experience and feel right at home with the slick, intuitive interface.

Perhaps the game's biggest hook is also it's biggest drawback, because Football Manager 2011 retains the series' infamous capacity to suck away hours and hours of your life at a time. Of course, this may not be a problem to veterans of the management genre, but it may prove to be somewhat problematic to those who value the smooth functioning of their social lives. Still, if you have the merest modicum of passion for the so-called beautiful game, you'd be well advised to give FM 2011 more than just a little look-in.